Young patients at St Andrew’s achieve a film first in their journey to mental illness recovery

Friday 27 May 2016

‘In Our Own Words’ short video

For the first time, young people at St Andrew’s are describing the story of their recovery as part of a touching new short film that offers a compelling insight into mental health.

Adolescent Pathway Service Director, Paul Bentham, said the short film – ‘In Our Own Words’ – was created by young people, for young people, with the aim of giving a voice to their care while giving parents, carers and young people an insight into what happens here.

“Over the past five years, we have been in the privileged position to provide care to more than 300 young people with some of the most serious forms of mental illness in the country,” Mr Bentham said.

“Rather than letting this become a defining feature of their youth, we work hard to provide teenagers with many of the same opportunities that their friends and families might have in the community.

“They continue with their schooling, college and even university, and have the opportunity to go home on leave, to visit the local shops and theatre, and to participate in a range of creative therapies and activities such as horse riding, horticulture and woodwork.

“Their time with us is about support. It is about providing therapies and guidance through a dedicated team of healthcare specialists and teachers, and giving young people care and treatment to aid their recovery.

“We have the very special task of preparing young people for the next step in their life, whether that’s at home or in supported living, and that’s a wonderful goal to work towards.”

In the past two years, 71 per cent of young people at St Andrew’s have stepped down to a lower level of security, including *Sarah who used the film to speak about her hopes for the future.

“It’s been really good to be involved as it has let me give my point of view about being at St Andrew’s. It means a lot to me because people can now see what St Andrew’s is really like,” Sarah said.

“Before I came I didn’t know what it would be like to be here – now other people will be able to.  

“When people watch the film, I’d like them to know that St Andrew’s is not a bad place and that there is a lot of fun stuff to do here.

“I hope that you learn a lot from the film and enjoy watching it. Personally, it gives me confidence that there is no shame in struggling with mental illness.”